Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Letters to the Editor

Thursday's letters: Remember the value of free speech on Florida's college campuses

In support of free speech on campus | Editorial, April 17

Value free speech on Fla. campuses

Gov. Ron DeSantis is right to ask Florida college and university presidents to reaffirm their commitment to free speech. Our nation's campuses are at a crossroads where some administrators no longer see the value in unfettered speech and rather promote certain ideologies over critical thinking and appreciation for robust discourse. After all, fostering an environment of open inquiry and respect for plural opinion is essential in a true academic setting, and it's even more important in terms of molding our country's future leaders. Safe spaces, trigger warnings or shutting down certain speakers only weakens those coddled by such false safeguards.

The resolution states in part that freedom of speech and expression is an "integral part of our mission to deliver a high quality academic experience for our students and prepare all students for full participation in society."

I applaud Gov. DeSantis, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and the Florida College System Council of Presidents for taking seriously the assault on students' constitutional freedoms and reaffirming the First Amendment on Florida's campuses.

Lauren Cooley, Fort Lauderdale

Visit Florida is a wise investment | Letter, April 17

Tourism and a living wage

The proponents for Visit Florida say that tourism is a top economic driver and is worth the investment. That said, I don't recall reading how, by having Visit Florida, the many thousands of laboring Floridians employed in tourism are making a living wage. Another thought is, when has "record tourism" translated to lowering our cost-of-living and or local property taxes?

N. Lupo, Clearwater

A world treasure in flames | April 16

Give to Notre Dame, not wall

President Donald Trump could double his popularity by just changing his pet program. Forget "the wall" and instead give millions to France to rebuild Notre Dame. The world would embrace him.

Dominic Grillo, Dunedin

Publix torn on plastic bag bans | Carlton column, April 14

Paper bags are a winner

Growing up in the '60s "old school" I worked my way through college in the A&P supermarket chain and we used only paper bags for customers' groceries. They worked great and were completely biodegradable (and now recyclable). Why a company as well-liked as Publix chooses to fight all these local bans on plastic bags in Florida is beyond me. It would be awesome publicity for Publix to go to all paper bags. What better way to be a leader in its industry and help save our environment instead of spending their money on lobbyists and lawyers?

George Alexander, Wesley Chapel

Bill Day editorial cartoon | April 17

A poignant cartoon

The editorial cartoonist's acknowledgement of the tragedy of the burning of Notre Dame was simply the best. Dignity, class, compassion, all in one excellent drawing. It speaks to the heart and soul. Thank you.

Kathleen Carlton, Tierra Verde